AB de Villiers wanted to play World Cup

Sports

06 Jun 2019

AB de Villiers wanted to play World Cup 2019

In an interesting development, media reports state that former South African player AB de Villiers had offered to come out of retirement to be a part of the national team for the ICC World Cup 2019.

However, the Proteas management rejected his offer. It took the decision on the eve of the announcement of their final World Cup squad.

Here is more.

Offer

AB had made the offer last month

AB had made the offer last month

According to a report in ESPNcricinfo, AB had made this offer last month.

AB enjoyed strong form in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 and showed his desire to feature in the 2019 World Cup.

The report added that AB approached SA captain Faf du Plessis, head coach Ottis Gibson and convener of selectors Linda Zondi.

But the selectors didn't consider the request.

Reasons

The reasons behind the rejection of AB's proposal

The selectors didn't pay any heed as AB had voluntarily retired from international cricket in May 2018.

This is why he didn't meet the selection criteria, as players had to participate in domestic or international cricket leading up to the World Cup.

Also, the selectors felt that picking AB over others would have been unfair on players like Rassie van der Dussen.

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Freelancer

Post retirement, AB played as a freelance T20 cricketer

Post retirement, AB played as a freelance T20 cricketer

After his retirement, AB has played as a freelancer across T20 leagues globally.

After stints in the Bangladesh and Pakistan T20 leagues earlier this year, he racked up 442 runs in 13 matches for RCB in IPL 12.

AB never looked out of sync and his fitness on the field was unmatchable.

Perhaps, that triggered his desire to play in the World Cup.

Decision

One wondered whether AB's decision to retire was worth it

AB was in supreme form in 2018 against India and Australia in the Test series.

He was one of the consistent performers for the side and took responsibility of the middle order well.

Even at the time of announcement, one had wondered if he could have at least played till 2019 given the ICC World Cup was just 12 months away.

AB on his decision to retire

Stats

AB is a rare talent, his stats reveal the same

AB is a rare talent, his stats reveal the same

He played 114 Test matches for South Africa besides 228 ODIs and 78 T20Is.

He scored a mammoth 8,765 Test runs with a best of 278* at an average of 50.66.

In ODIs, the legendary cricketer amassed 9,577 runs at a healthy average of 53.50.

He has a total of 47 centuries, to his name, including Tests and ODIs.

Discussions

SA's poor performance in World Cup 19 has triggered debate

Since the report has come out, several fans on social media platforms have been discussing South Africa's decision to reject the offer.

The Proteas have been terrible so far in World Cup 19 as they have lost their first three games already.

Their batting, in particular, has lacked the firepower.

Also, injuries to Dale Steyn and Lungi Ngidi didn't help their cause.

Here's the official statement by CSA

Our take

Cricket South Africa did the right thing: Our take

Cricket South Africa did the right thing: Our take

We feel that irrespective of South Africa's performance in the 2019 World Cup, the discussion surrounding AB is bound to take place now that reports have surfaced.

But, as far as CSA is concerned, it did the right thing by rejecting the proposal.

It was his personal decision to retire and it would have been unfair on other batsmen fighting for berths.

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